Israel’s first private spacecraft launched toward the moon is carrying a 30-million-page archive of human knowledge etched into a DVD-size metal disc, NBC News reported.
The Lunar Library is designed to preserve “the records of our civilization for up to billions of years”, according to Nova Spivack, co-founder of Arch Mission Foundation, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit behind the project, the news outlet reported.
“One of the primary evolutionary challenges that we face is amnesia about our past mistakes, and the lack of active countermeasures to repeating them,” Spivack told NBC News. “For the survival of our species, we need to find ways to raise our awareness of what worked and didn't work, and we need to ensure it is shared with the people of the future.”
The preservation fete isn’t entirely new for Arch Foundation: It sent a quartz disc into space that contained the entire text of Isaac Asimov’s famous “Foundation” trilogy of science-fiction books.
“We are building a Rosetta Stone for beings who inhabit our solar system in the future,” Spivack told NBC News reported.
One component of the archive is a collection of songs, children’s drawings and writings about Israeli culture and history. But the bulk of the more than 200 gigabytes of data are the entire English-language version of Wikipedia; tens of thousands of fiction and nonfiction books; a collection of textbooks; and a guide to 5,000 languages along with 1.5 billion sample translations between them, NBC News reported.
All of it is etched onto 25 stacked nickel disks, each about 1/600th of an inch thick.
And to make sure the future understands, the top of the Lunar Library’s disc is engraved with images of books and other documents explaining human linguistics, along with instructions about how to read the library beneath, the news outlet reported.